BittersweetPosted: May 13, 2013
New Moms usually dread returning to work. Their transitions may be charged with sadness or even guilt, which can be intensified with sleep deprivation. In fact, more than one of my girl friends “lost” her car when she parked it for work in the morning. They called the police hysterically crying since they were convinced someone stole it, but in reality they forgot where they parked it. The police found my friends’ lost cars in every instance on a different street than where they swore they parked it. As today is my first day back to work, I thank God my husband is dropping our boys off in the morning at my Mom’s and parking our car in their garage! And, THANK YOU, Mom!
Returning to work after my second maternity leave is bittersweet. I’ll miss my boys dearly, especially the sweet sound of our oldest, Andrew, regularly calling, “Mama, MAMA, MOMMY!” Ok, I’m getting a little teary thinking about how sweet his everything is – cuddles and cries alike. One of my favorites is how when I’m breast-feeding our sweet baby, Patrick, Andrew will also curl up with us. AND, I’ll miss the sweet smiles of our precious Patrick who is constantly more and more aware at three months. I hope I don’t miss hearing too many of his new sounds for the first time…
At the same time, I am lucky to love my job in marketing and have awesome work-life balance (reasonable hours). Returning to work now seems easier than after my first maternity leave since I know what to expect when I go back to work. And, looking on the bright side – I will love running to CVS or Jewel during lunch to pick up a couple of quick items without my adorable boys literally attached to me. I’m very lucky today to also be having lunch with a couple of my favorite girlfriends who are also working Moms.
They remember and know how today feels. Fortunately, our boys did not wake once last night. What a gift not to start today with sleep exhaustion to add to potential chaos. Speaking of which, I’m hoping to avoid some of the mishaps of my first transition back to work such as below. My blunders revolve a lot around pumping. Most everyone reading this may already be familiar with “pumping”, but just in case – it’s to supply mother’s milk for babies to eat in their absence. If that’s so stressful again for me, I may scale back and use formula to help keep my sanity.
Breast feeding is a wonderful opportunity for our youngest and I to share special moments, but stressed Moms don’t help anyone…
Mistakes last time I returned to work:
- I left my breast pump at home in the morning or at work in the afternoon and had to circle back.
- I left the milk I pumped at work on more than once and went back to get it – hindsight is 20/20 – I had a surplus supply so should’ve gotten it the next day.
- I forgot the combination to our “Mother’s room” at work (locked room in our basement with curtained stations for Moms to pump their milk or even close their eyes if need be for a quick cat nap during lunch). That combination is now stashed in my pump bag so I’ll be all set there!
- I sometimes left our garage door open when I got home from work. I now have a good routine with lots of practice bringing the kids in the door.
PLEASE share anything that may help make this transition for others as smooth as possible! And, if you’re planning to pump when you return to work or just at home with baby – definitely read Milk Memos.